If you tuned in earlier in the night, it might've seemed like Kendrick Lamar, not Mars, was primed to take the show's top prize, after racking up five statues, including a sweep in the rap categories. But as the Grammys marched onward, Mars picked up steam as he won Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and five more awards as well.
And onstage accepting Album of the Year, Mars, ever the showman, began as gracefully as possible, nodding to his fellow nominees Lamar, Jay-Z, Lorde, and Childish Gambino.
"First off, to the other nominees in this category," Mars said, pointing around the room, "you guys are the reason why I'm in the studio pulling my hair out, man, 'cause I know you guys are gonna only come with the top-shelf artistry and music. And thank you guys for blessing the world with your music. I mean that."
After he admitted he'd been celebrating a bit with a few cocktails, Mars launched into a tale of when he first got his start performing for tourists at age 15 in Hawaii, singing covers of songs by Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Teddy Riley. That's when, he said, he discovered the unifying power of music.
"All I wanted to do with this album was that," he said. "Those songs were written with nothing but joy, and for one reason and one reason only, and that's love. That's all I wanted to bring with this album."
"Hopefully I could feel that again and see everybody dancing and everybody moving."
"I'd like to dedicate this award to them," he concluded. "They are my heroes. They are my teachers. They laid the foundation. This album wouldn't exist if it wasn't for these guys that have written these songs."
Mars notably won every single category in which he was nominated — Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical — totaling a whopping seven statues.
As the 24K Magic singer is no doubt saying to people backstage at the post-Grammys party, "That's what I like."